Mismatched top on Gibson RMA LP

GrecoGibson

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My LP standard 50s had ski neck And I sent it to Gibson for a replacement … I just got my replacement earlier this week…, neck is great now, but the Guitar has quite a mismatched top (especially in the pic #1 outside the case)… on one hand I think it looks kinda cool and unique but on the other hand it seems almost unacceptable that they’d match these tops together since they look so different. Guess my question at this point is if anyone has ever had luck with Gibson replacing an instrument over cosmetic issues like this Or if this is something I just need to live with … thanks!

 
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Musha Ring

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I'm inclined to say if it bothers you now as a knee jerk reaction, it will always bother you in the back of your mind.

On the other hand, I think we live in a time of privilege that can give us hyper sensitive expectations when it comes to these things. If you look at Gary Moore's (Peter Green's) Les Paul, and Jimmy Page's number 1, as examples, they're not particularly well matched or head turners by any means. Those guys took what they could get.
 

GrecoGibson

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I'm inclined to say if it bothers you now as a knee jerk reaction, it will always bother you in the back of your mind.

On the other hand, I think we live in a time of privilege that can give us hyper sensitive expectations when it comes to these things. If you look at Gary Moore's (Peter Green's) Les Paul, and Jimmy Page's number 1, as examples, they're not particularly well matched or head turners by any means. Those guys took what they could get.
I agree. At the same time I’ve never bought an instrument this expensive before and I don’t know how acceptable this is. I also know since it’s only comestic there is likely nothing Gibson would do. But was just curious what others thought.
 

Musha Ring

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I agree. At the same time I’ve never bought an instrument this expensive before and I don’t know how acceptable this is. I also know since it’s only comestic there is likely nothing Gibson would do. But was just curious what others thought.

When I bought my Traditional I tried 7 different ones until I found the one I liked. Asked the supplier to bring in 4 of the same finish to let me choose.

I don't give a shit if I seem like a picky princess. For $2000 + you're damn right I'm being picky. I spend more on Les Pauls than I do on my vehicles.

This should be a moment of great happiness and excitement, especially if it's your first high end guitar. You shouldn't be settling for anything you feel compromises the instrument in your eyes.

I would go back to the place you bought it and just explain you want a better looking one. They won't give a shit, they just want your money. And if they do care, too bad. It's your money.
 

GrecoGibson

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When I bought my Traditional I tried 7 different ones until I found the one I liked. Asked the supplier to bring in 4 of the same finish to let me choose.

I don't give a shit if I seem like a picky princess. For $2000 + you're damn right I'm being picky. I spend more on Les Pauls than I do on my vehicles.

This should be a moment of great happiness and excitement, especially if it's your first high end guitar. You shouldn't be settling for anything you feel compromises the instrument in your eyes.

I would go back to the place you bought it and just explain you want a better looking one. They won't give a shit, they just want your money. And if they do care, too bad. It's your money.
The only thing is … this is an RMA straight from Gibson. So may not be possible to get a straight exchange but may not hurt to ask.
 

Dogbreath

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For me it looks good but I don’t care for extremely flamed tops, but it’s your guitar and if you aren’t completely satisfied, send it back. A new Gibson should be magic to the new owner.
 

Musha Ring

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The only thing is … this is an RMA straight from Gibson. So may not be possible to get a straight exchange but may not hurt to ask.

Put your mind at ease and ask. As you said, it doesn't hurt.

I don't think that top is that bad at all. It's subtle, which I personally prefer. But I'm not you and it's not my guitar.

Do you have any other pics? The second one is too blurry to see much.
 

TheWelder

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I think it's a beautiful Les Paul. I wouldn't say it's matched poorly. f you're referring to the area near the center seam where the flame disappears in the second picture, I'd say it's common to see that on Gibson USA guitars. The flame peeks out nicely in the first shot.

Are you working directly with Gibson on these or are you going through a retailer? If you're not happy with it, is it possible to see photos and specs of guitars that you could exchange it for?
 

Brek

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from what i have observed from looking at many flamed maple tops, it looks mismatched because of the way the wood figure is reflecting light. its like that box of chocolates from forest gump, until you split and carve the wood you don't know what you'll get. some times it looks symmetrical sometimes it doesn't. yours looks great to me.
 

cousingrandpa

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My R9 has a mismatched top but it's still a beautiful guitar & the way it plays there is no way I would ever get rid of it. The top has my favorite type of flame & the mismatch never bothers me. If the guitar is a good one the top is secondary.
 

ARandall

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All of these things are personal.

But there is nothing either in the specs or in any expectation that every top has to either be symmetrical, or even matched.
Going to the iconic era tops ranged from completely symmetrical to completely unbalanced (ie completely different bits of timber on either side)

So no maple top Gibson could put on a guitar is objectively bad, flawed, or not to spec from a matching aspect. The only stipulation is that if there is a grading for the top then both sides have to adhere to that.
 

GrecoGibson

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Thanks for all your input.

I DO have a tendency to (over)analyze my purchases a lot so I wanted to seek out other opinions. The only reason I’m hesitant to send to Gibson again is because A) it’s about $200 shipping to send to them from where I am and B) I’m paranoid that something else more serious will be wrong if they send me another RMA. i am leaning towards keeping the guitar because aside from this minor Thing the guitar plays and sounds great.
 

TheWelder

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Thanks for all your input.

I DO have a tendency to (over)analyze my purchases a lot so I wanted to seek out other opinions. The only reason I’m hesitant to send to Gibson again is because A) it’s about $200 shipping to send to them from where I am and B) I’m paranoid that something else more serious will be wrong if they send me another RMA. i am leaning towards keeping the guitar because aside from this minor Thing the guitar plays and sounds great.
It's easy to over-analyze and second guess purchases. It's a really nice looking guitar. If it plays and sounds great, that is by far the most important.
 

Musha Ring

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the guitar plays and sounds great.

Sounds like a keeper! I think the top is just fine. As long as you can be happy with it, she's yours.

Here's my main LP. Not the best pic, but just showing you as an example. Mine isn't very symmetrical, but I love it. The flame and figure really changes with the light. I'd imagine yours does too.

20210714_153132.jpg
 

Cjsinla

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They are matched, the sides are opposite of each other, dark lines up with light.
 

diogoguitar

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I think mismatching wouldn't necessarily bother me much..

What would bother me is one half is flame and the other half is plain.
I guess I need to see more photos to give a proper opinion
 

Oranjeaap

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It's not that mismatched. I'd say only 4 out of 10 on mismatched scale.
Personally I kinda like those weird tops, gives it some character.
 

Texsunburst59

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I think you have a guitar with a beautiful top.

You say the guitar sounds and plays great, and I think those are the most important things.

Here's the top on my '89 Gibson Heritage Cherry Sunburst LP Standard.

I think my 3 piece top is more mismatched than yours, but I don't care at all, because I think it's beautiful and unique.

12697341043_979caf2abc_b.jpg
 
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LocoTex

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I like the way it looks. I wouldn't send it back unless there was actually something wrong with it.
 

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